11th hour deal in California

  • California public utility Imperial Irrigation District has reached a deal with the solar industry to extend net metering deals to between 1,200 and 1,300 customers, months after announcing it would not be taking new subscriptions, the Desert Sun reports. 
  • Earlier this year, IID said it had reached a cap on the program, put in place by the state legislature, which limited net metering to 5% of its peak electricity demand, leaving more than a thousand customers in limbo with their solar arrays. 
  • In a letter from IID District General Manager Kevin Kelley to state Senator Ben Hueso (D), the utility said it would extend net metering to customers who requested interconnection before April 1, and other sets of customers who had already taken steps to install panels.

Dive Insight:

Despite the decision by California regulators to preserve the current net metering rates until 2019 for investor-owned utilities, a public utility is caught in a debate over rooftop solar similar to those occurring in Arizona and Nevada. 

The solar industry was trying to push a bill through the California legislature to extend IID's net metering program. But as the end of the session loomed, the utility agreed to reach a deal to allow more customers into the program.

The Desert Sun obtained a copy of IID's letter which explained the three sets of customers which will still be granted net metering deals: those who requested interconnection before April; those who applied for solar rebates by Feb. 5; and anyone who paid for a building permit before April 1.

According to the newspaper, those groups include more than 1,000 customers who previously would have been locked out of the program. The legislation which the solar industry supported would have allowed even more customers into the program, but the utility's compromise reaches more than 80% of  customers who had been in the process of installing solar when IID hit the cap.

IID has previously had run-ins with solar advocates. In 2014, the utility reduced its incentives for small solar systems from $1.55/watt to $0.50/watt, prompting one installer to label the initiative the "worst solar rebate program on God's green earth."

Recommended Reading

The Desert Sun: Rooftop solar industry, Imperial Irrigation District strike last-minute compromise on net metering

"we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
 http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

Comments

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 3,258 ✭✭✭✭
    • California lawmakers have passed four bills designed to ramp up the state's use of energy storage, expanding on a mandate in place for utilities and doubling the Self-Generation Incentive Program, which supports behind-the-meter technologies.
    • The bills are now in front of California Gov. Jerry Brown (D), who has pressed the state to slash its greenhouse gas emissions and bolster its carbon-free resources. Storage is expected to play an important role in meeting the state's 50% renewable energy mandate and a newly-passed goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions 40% from 1990 levels by 2030, which Brown is expected to sign.
    • In 2013 the California Public Utilities Commission enacted the nation's first energy storage mandate, directing investor-owned utilities to buy 1.325 GW by 2020, and state regulators this year called for rapid storage deployment in the Los Angeles basin due to a natural gas shortage there. 

    Dive Insight:

    As the California legislative session wound down, lawmakers voted on four separate bills aimed at giving a boost to energy storage.

    AB 33 directs the CPUC to consider large-scale storage, specifically pumped hydro. The bill comes after the California ISO identified a need for fast-ramping, flexible resources to balance the grid and mitigate the potential impacts of over-generation from renewables.

    In either a new or existing proceeding, the law would direct regulators to "assess the potential costs and benefits of all types of long duration bulk energy storage resources, including impacts to the transmission and distribution systems of location-specific long duration bulk energy storage resources."

    While California already has an energy storage mandate, AB 2868 would allow utilities to develop an additional 500 MW of storage capacity "divided equally among the state’s three largest electrical corporations."
     
    AB 1637 aims to double the Self-Generation Incentive Program. Earlier this summer regulators updated and revised the program, which currently provides $83 million a year through 2019 for behind-the-meter generation technologies including wind, fuel cells and energy storage.
     
    And a final bill, AB 2861, directs the CPUC to establish a resolution process for interconnection disputes. The bill sets a goal of resolving disputes within 60 days, and would require the commission to appoint a "qualified electrical systems engineer with substantial interconnection expertise to advise the director of the energy division and to provide adequate commission staff to assist in resolving interconnection disputes."
     
    As California moves toward higher penetrations of renewable energy and less reliance on traditional fossil generation, energy storage is expected to play an increasingly important role in maintaining reliability and power quality.
     
    This spring, the California Public Utilities Commission approved expedited storage purchases for utilities near the Aliso Canyon gas leak outside Los Angeles, which depleted local gas supplies for generators. Already, SDG&E has announced a 150 MWh project for the region, and SCE unveiled a plan to retrofit an existing gas plant with 80 MWh of batteries. 
     
    PG&E also showed its increasing reliance on energy storage this summer when it announced it would retire the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant and replace it with zero-carbon resources, a task that will likely require it to store renewable power for use during peak demand hours. 

    Recommended Reading

    California legislature: AB 33 
    California legislature: AB 2868 
    California legislature: AB 1637 
    California legislature: AB 2861

    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • LumisolLumisol Registered Users Posts: 374 ✭✭✭
    edited June 8 #3
    I found it interesting the utilities are now making up the laws in California:
    [b]The solar industry was trying to push a bill through the California legislature to extend IID's net metering program. But as the end of the session loomed, the utility agreed to reach a deal to allow more customers into the program.[/b]
  • LumisolLumisol Registered Users Posts: 374 ✭✭✭
  • Marc KurthMarc Kurth Solar Expert Posts: 409 ✭✭✭✭
    Lumisol, Your posts would indicate that you do not perceive yourself as others see you.

     
    I always have more questions than answers. That's the nature of life.
  • LumisolLumisol Registered Users Posts: 374 ✭✭✭
    edited June 8 #6
    John Lennon said, Being honest may not get you many friends, but it will always get you the right ones.


  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 1,430 ✭✭✭✭
    @Lumisol

    Your last quote is your best quote.

    People here are welcoming you to a community, but being a friend by saying some of your comments may not be coming out the way you intend.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • LumisolLumisol Registered Users Posts: 374 ✭✭✭
    edited June 8 #8
    Lennon's quotes always made sense to me.
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 4,827 ✭✭✭✭
    As a kid, I was told! if you can't say something nice, don't say anything unless spoken to :) , and it is rude to not answer at that point... :*
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge, Hughes1100 Sat Modem
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • LumisolLumisol Registered Users Posts: 374 ✭✭✭
    edited June 7 #10
    Me too. I guess I consider humor to be in the nice category.

    My humorous comment was at  least on the topic of California, several posts here have tried to derail that by discussing personal matters and for that I apologize to the OP.
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 1,430 ✭✭✭✭
    Fair enough, but like °c and ° f, not everyone may see everything as "small stuff". Asking what's meant by a comment could end up just feeding a troll. None of us wants that, right?
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • LumisolLumisol Registered Users Posts: 374 ✭✭✭
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators Posts: 26,768 admin
    Please remember, our Host is funding this from their business--As a service to everyone interested in solar/conservation.

    Just be be on our best behaviour as guests in their home.

    And you can see why I do not attempt much in the way of off the wall humor here/online in places that I care about (unless a web forum goes "that way").

    I do not get paid for this (and have never hit NAWS up for "free stuff"). I do it because I care about helping others--Just like folks helped me and my families when I was young.

    Please dial it back a bit. Does not mean that we cannot disagree or feel strongly about things. Just be straight forward in the discussion about the points of issue.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • LumisolLumisol Registered Users Posts: 374 ✭✭✭
    I have never hit anyone up for free stuff either, I think it's unethical.
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